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Mr. Keen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the estimated number of people employed in the construction industry within London for each year since 1988 ; and what is his estimate for the current year.
Employees in the construction industry-Greate r London |000s --------------- 1988 |139 1989 |137 1990 |132 1991 |120 1992 |109 1993 |100 Figures as at June of each year.
Mr. Keen : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what studies his Department has initiated into the effects of a release of local authority capital receipts within the London area on levels of employment within the construction industry ; and if he will publish their findings.
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many fax machines are currently on loan to people with disability under the aids -to-employment scheme ; what service arrangements exist for such equipment ; and in what circumstances fax machines are (a) removed, (b) updated or (c) determined to be obsolete.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Ms Joan Walley, dated 23 May 1994 :
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your Question about the number of fax machines currently on loan to people with disabilities under the Special Aids to Employment scheme, (SAE) together with servicing arrangements, the circumstances of removal, updating and determining obsolescence.
The numbers that you have asked for are not held centrally for machines issued before October 1993.
Forty two fax machines were issued to clients under the SAE in the six months to April 1994, together with six fax card adaptations which allow receipt and transmission of faxes on personal computers. During the same period, one fax machine previously issued required repair.
As owner of the aid, the ES is responsible for repairs, maintenance and servicing contracts are not taken out by the ES
Column 49because of the costs involved and the low incidence of breakdown. Where equipment breaks down, a replacement may be issued as a temporary back-up whilst repair is effected.
Fax machines would normally only be removed if the client left employment or no longer required the equipment. Updating takes place when the need for more advanced equipment is identified.
Fax hardware and software have both remained stable platforms in the past two years, advance being made largely in terms of speed of fax transmission, which does not affect the ability of older machines to either send or receive messages. For this reason, it is generally accepted that older machines may be slower in transmission but are not regarded as obsolete.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he last met small business representatives to discuss the working of Barnsley- Doncaster TEC ; when is his next meeting ; and if he will make a statement.
Miss Widdecombe : My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, regularly meets training and enterprise directors, many of whom represent small businesses. He also recently met the Federation of Small Businesses and the Forum of Private Business to discuss the work of TECs.
My right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, has overall responsibility for the Government's relations with business and has regular contact with its representative organisations.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what discussions he has had with the Secretaries of State for (a) Health and (b) Social Security in regard to the implementation of the incapacity benefit to those invalided out of employment by multiple sclerosis.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The implementation of incapacity benefit is a matter for my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Social Security. Discussions have taken place between our two Departments on several
Column 50aspects of the new benefit, including its implementation and the development of the medical test. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has also been consulted.
I understand that the new more objective medical test of incapacity will take account of the variable and fluctuating nature of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis.
Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the total number of reported crimes in (a) north London and (b) south London in each year since 1979 and in each month since 1990 ; if he will list for each period the number of (i) rapes, (ii) indecent assaults, (iii) other assaults, (iv) violent crimes and (v) robberies ; and if he will identify separately assaults on staff and assaults on passengers.
Mr. Freeman : The tables show reported crime on BR and the London underground for London north and London south for the period 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1994. Comparable figures for the period before April 1992 are not available.
|London |London Year/Month |North |South ---------------------------------------------- All crimes 1992 (from April) |12,570 |13,926 1993 |15,214 |18,481 1994 (to March) |3,536 |4,218 1992 April |1,207 |1,196 May |1,341 |1,317 June |1,376 |1,528 July |1,439 |1,695 August |1,422 |1,656 September |1,481 |1,636 October |1,654 |1,726 November |1,355 |1,647 December |1,292 |1,510 1993 January |1,329 |1,538 February |1,248 |1,541 March |1,511 |1,569 April |1,262 |1,435 May |1,142 |1,534 June |1,380 |1,513 July |1,403 |1,626 August |1,228 |1,584 September |1,279 |1,587 October |1,272 |1,493 November |1,178 |1,547 December |982 |1,453 1994 January |1,040 |1,360 February |1,052 |1,236 March |1,434 |1,622
Sexual offences Offence |1992 |1993 |1994 |(April to December) |(January to March) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- London North Rape |1 |2 |1 Indecent assault |44 |57 |7 Indecent exposure |60 |101 |20 Other |7 |16 |8 London South Rape |1 |3 |2 Indecent assault |69 |116 |15 Indecent exposure |131 |120 |37 Other |41 |97 |16
Violent crimes Offence 1992 1993 1994 April-December January-March |Staff |Public|Staff |Public|Staff |Public ---------------------------------------------------------------------- London North Attempted murder |- |1 |- |1 |- |- Grievous bodily harm |1 |12 |8 |19 |2 |6 Wounding |5 |19 |6 |28 |2 |52 Actual bodily harm |45 |136 |59 |197 |- |- Common assault |16 |25 |28 |58 |8 |20 Assault on police |17 |- |24 |- |3 |- Other |1 |9 |3 |3 |- |1 London South Attempted murder |- |- |- |- |- |1 Manslaughter |- |1 |- |- |- |- Grievous bodily harm |1 |16 |2 |22 |- |6 Wounding |3 |16 |3 |19 |- |8 Actual bodily harm |74 |229 |85 |266 |22 |99 Common assault |36 |71 |47 |117 |23 |26 Assault on police |7 |- |25 |- |8 |- Other |2 |6 |1 |15 |1 |6
Robberies Offence 1992 1993 1994 April-December January-March |Staff |Public|Staff |Public|Staff |Public ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- London North Robbery |6 |159 |11 |302 |2 |100 Assault with intent to rob |- |19 |1 |24 |- |5 London South Robbery |5 |381 |26 |495 |10 |126 Assault with intent to rob |1 |4 |2 |17 |1 |21
Mr. Key : A total of 4,538 calls have been received on the cones hotline up to 18 May. Of these, 2,600 have been complaints about or observations on cones and traffic management at roadworks which have been followed up by the relevant regional office. The remaining calls have comprised general inquiries and requests for information which were dealt with immediately.
Since March this year the cones hotline has operated on a new dedicated number giving callers direct access to the hotline operator. It has also provided for callers to be charged at their local rate irrespective of their location. The new line has been costing about £450 per month, including
Column 52call charges. All other running costs have been and are being met from within budgets agreed before the hotline was established.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the offices of his Department in (a) Doncaster, (b) Barnsley, (c) Rotherham and (d) Sheffield ; and how many posts of each are currently covered by (i) casual, (ii) agency or (iii) fixed-term appointment staff ; and what the figures were (1) 24 and (2) 48 months ago.
Mr. Norris : My Department does not employ any agency staff or staff on fixed-term appointments in Doncaster, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. Past information on agency staff is not kept, so figures are not available. A list of the offices, together with the numbers of casual staff, are as follows.
Building |1990 |1992 |1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Wellsyke Road, Carcroft Industrial Estate, Doncaster |- |- |1 Millar House, Melton Road, Sprotborough, Doncaster |- |1 |- Shaftesbury Avenue, Intake, Doncaster |- |1 |1 Bus Depot, Leicester Avenue, Doncaster |1 |<1>- |<1>- West Road, Barnsley |- |- |- 42 Sackville Street, Barnsley |- |1 |1 80 Doncaster Road, Rotherham |- |- |2 St Peters House, Hartshead, Sheffield |2 |- |1 East End Avenue, Manor Top, Sheffield |- |- |- Orgreave Way, Handsworth, Sheffield |- |1 |- Richmond Park Road, Handsworth, Sheffield |- |- |- 508 Middlewod Road, Sheffield |- |- |1 <1> Office no longer open
Ms Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the terms of reference for the review of the methodology of the national road traffic forecasts and of the terms of reference of the advisory panel set up to assist this review, the members of the panel with the organisations that they represent, a list of the research that has been or is to be commissioned to assist the review and the date by which the review is expected to be completed.
Mr. Key : I announced to the House on 25 November 1993, Official Report, column 101 that my Department had made arrangements to receive advice from experts in traffic modelling and related fields. Those experts have been brought together to form an advisory group. The group has no formal terms of reference : their business is to advise the Department on the methods appropriate for the preparation of the national road traffic forecasts. This is a new part of our normal practice of keeping the forecasts constantly under review. The Department remains satisfied with the existing published forecasts (NRTF(GB)1989), but always seeks to assess possible improvements to forecasting methodology.
The membership of the group is :
Mr. H. C. S. Derwent, Grade 3, National Roads Policy Division, Department of Transport (Chairman).
Professor Peter Hills, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Mr. Hollingsworth, Chief Economist, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Mr. D. Humby, Head of Transport Planning, Hertfordshire County Council.
Mr. R. Turner, Executive Director, Transport Planning, Freight Transport Association.
Mr. Peter Mackie, Deputy Director, Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds.
Mr. Keith Buchan, Metropolitan Research Unit.
Together with representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of the Environment, HM Treasury, and those in the Department of Transport responsible for the Forecasts. The members of the group contribute independent expertise ; they are not appointed as representatives of any particular interest or group. The group's purpose is to give the Department advice on such technical forecasting issues as are placed before it.
The Department has an on-going programme of research on traffic, car ownership and use. Research let outside the Department particularly relevant to the forecasts includes :
derivation of a database of traffic flows by area, road type, time and purpose ;
Column 54effects of congestion on car and commercial vehicle use ; effects of higher fuel prices on vehicle use.
Further research will be let outside the Department as the need is identified.
The members of the group have been told that their work will last about 18 months, though this will depend on the nature of the issues that arise.
Mr. Key : None. Major manufacturers of minibuses now fit seat belts as standard equipment and coach manufacturers can provide them as an option. Most vehicles can be retrofitted ; but there may be technical difficulties in some older vehicles because of the way in which they were originally constructed.
Mr. Key : Following the Auxerre coach accident in France in 1990, representations were made to the Commission to consider amendment of the relevant directives to allow the fitting of seat belts to all seats in minibuses and coaches. In the light of reaction from member states, the Commission concluded at the time that there was insufficient support for any proposal on these lines to take the matter forward.
Mr. Key : The European Commission has recently announced a strategy for improved bus and coach safety which includes the fitment of seat belts in vehicles which do not carry standing passengers. We await its detailed proposals.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received on the desirability of requiring the introduction of safety belts in minibuses and coaches ; and what is his timetable for responding to these.
We aim to reply to letters from members of the public within 20 working days of receipt.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the traffic accidents which involve company-owned cars ; and what recommendation he has to improve safety in this area.
Mr. Key : Statistics indicate that the accident claim rate for company owned vehicles is some 60-70 per cent. greater than for privately owned vehicles. We have commissioned research from which we shall assess the potential for introducing measures to reduce the accident liability of fleet vehicles.
Mr. Ottaway : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action his Department has taken in recent weeks regarding the repeated refusal of the Spanish authorities to allow Cenargo Ltd. to operate a ferry service to Morocco in accordance with EC regulations.
Mr. Norris : My Department has continued to take every opportunity to raise the matter, both bilaterally with Spain and within the European Community. We understand that the European Commission has decided to open infraction proceedings against Spain in this case under article 169 of the treaty of Rome.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review the working of section 93(7) of the Transport Act 1985 to ensure that eligibility for bus passes is standardised at 60 years of age for both men and women ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : At present we have no plans to review the working of section 93(7) of the Transport Act 1985 other than as indicated in the second part of my reply to the hon. Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mr. Jones) on 13 May, Official Report column 281.
Mr. Snape : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress has been made in introducing regulations to require operators of vehicles over 3 m high to display the height of the vehicle in the cab ;
(2) from what date he will require operators of vehicles over 4.88 m high to give advance notice to local authorities of their movements ;
(3) what progress has been made in introducing regulations to require operators of skips or tipper lorries to provide a warning device in the driving cab to show when the lifting equipment is raised.
Mr. Key : Requirements for operators of vehicles over 3 m in height to display the height of the vehicle in the cab, for operators of skips or tipper lorries to provide a warning device in the cab and for operators of vehicles over 4.88 m high to give advance notice of their movements to local authorities are being considered as part of a package of changes to the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 to alleviate the problem of "bridge
Column 56bashing". We are currently considering a number of points raised by operators in response to consultation on the issue. I cannot therefore give a definite date for implementation.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff in his Department have received their notice in the last month ; how many of those were casual staff ; and how they were notified.
Mr. Norris : The number of staff who left the Department in April was 147. Of these 81 were permanent staff and 66 were casuals. All staff leaving, for whatever reason, receive their notice in the form of a letter from their personnel officer.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what were the extent and circumstances of the failure of rail and tube services from east London on 10 May ; what estimate he has made of the number of passengers inconvenienced ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris : I understand from the operators of these services that on 10 May, at about 0700 hours, the overhead power cables at East Ham came down, stopping services on the London, Tilbury and Southend--LTS--line. Fenchurch Street station was closed and all LTS services terminated at Barking until 0530 hours the following day. This incident also resulted in delays to westbound services on London Underground's District line of something in excess of two hours. We do not have figures for the number of passengers affected by this incident. However, LTS estimates that 25,000 people travel into London on their services each weekday. LUL, which runs westbound District line trains every two to four minutes in the peak hours, tells me that approximately 600 people travel on each peak hour train.
LTS has said that a full inquiry is taking place to establish the cause of this incident.
Mr. Nicholls : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is Railtrack's liability to passenger franchise operators in the event of a section of track being taken out of service for whatever reason ; and what is the extent of that liability ;
(2) who is responsible for consequential financial losses incurred by railway franchisees in the event of a railway line being temporarily shut due to track failure or an accident ;
(3) what is the role of the Office of the Rail Regulator in intervening in financial liability disputes between Railtrack and passenger franchise operators.
Mr. Freeman : Existing access contracts between Railtrack and BR's train operating units provide for penalty payments to be made by Railtrack in the event of Railtrack's performance falling below predetermined standards, such as where delays are caused by infrastructure failure. They also provide for the abatement of access charges payable by train operators, in accordance with set criteria, in the event of severe disruption. Future access agreements to be negotiated between Railtrack and
Column 57train operators are likely to include similar arrangements. These agreements will be subject to the approval of the Regulator.
Mr. Norris : Nine civil servants employed by the Department and its agencies assert that they have developed work-related upper limb disorders as a result of their employment and have made claims against the Department.
Mr. Dunn : To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what restrictions there will be on international rail services through the channel tunnel arriving at Waterloo international terminal during the monring peak hours ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Freeman : Hon. Members were informed during the passage of the Channel Tunnel Bill in 1986, that restrictions would apply to morning peak hour international arrivals. The aim was to avoid overcrowding on the underground at Waterloo and inconvenience to travellers. However, improvements in the facilities for the mainline underground stations at Waterloo and London Underground Ltd. services, mean that the stations will now be able to cope with international passengers arriving during the 0800- -0900 peak without inconveniencing other travellers. Consequently European Passenger Services wishes to plan for two Eurostar arrivals to Waterloo international terminal shortly before 0900 on weekdays when full services commence later this year.
European Passenger Services has consulted LUL which is content with this arrangement.
|Number --------------------- 1980 |4,950 1985 |4,490 1989 |3,740 1991 |3,510 1993 |3,170
These figures provided by BR are estimates. They take into account staff movements and assignments within grades--that is, some staff are not permanently based at stations or serve more than one station.